Children’s Books to Foster Global Awareness
Alright, Y’all (you know I’m excited when I’m saying “Y’all”), last week I shared with you my list of favorite Children’s Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust in your bambinos. And today I want to take it up a notch to share with you my favorite children’s books to foster global awareness.
This is such an important topic for me. Fostering global awareness in children is essential to creating better world citizens. It’s the very foundation that this blog is built on. We want our children to grow up with compassion, respect, empathy, humility, and understanding. We want them to understand that the world is bigger than the self and that our similarities as humans are greater than our differences.
Most of all, we want them to be good people.
With Christmas right around the corner, I urge you to consider picking one (or all) of these up for your budding global citizen. So here is my collection of favorite books to share with your children to foster that oh-so-important global awareness.
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I think this is by far my favorite book on the list, which is why I put it first. This Is How We Do It is such a delight. It follows seven (real!) children from around the world to exhibit their daily lives. This was an instant favorite for my son. We read about one child every night and M tells his own story to compare the differences and similarities. He gets to see how kids in Japan eat lunch and how kids in Iran learn in school, how kids in Uganda spend time after school and how kids in Peru eat dinner. With a very beautiful message at the end, this book is such a great way to start your global collection.
This book, as you can imagine, is a great introduction for children to small differences and big similarities. Two boys become pen pals and learn they both love many of the same things even though they live around the world from each other. Brightly illustrated, this is a beautiful story connecting us through cultural differences.
I love this whole series of Ordinary People books which highlight the lives of influential figures through history and “focuses on the traits that made our heroes great“. Adorably illustrated, these books connect with children’s emotions and explain concepts like leadership, bravery, and civil rights in an easy, colorful way. We have a few of these on our shelf, but this one, in particular, is great to expand bambino’s global awareness as it’s an early introduction Gandhi’s life and fight against inequality in India through peaceful protest.
The first thing you will notice the first time you open Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is undoubtedly the beautiful, detailed illustrations. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that now, more than ever, we need to engage our children with an understanding of all religions and cultures, particularly Islam. No matter what your household beliefs, this book is a wonderful addition to learn about the Muslim faith which is bound to bring wonder to all children.
This book is a beautiful classic that is wonderful for children of all ages. In print since 1980, it is playfully written and illustrated by renowned children’s author Peter Spier. It takes its reader through an exposé of the multitude of people around the world. Although some of the prose is dated, the message is beautifully clear: we all live together on this planet and are all different, but also very much the same.
Walk This World is an adorable, colorful journey around the world. Every page spread is a different country to explore with interactive flaps to lift and details to unveil. This is another wonderful book that exhibits our wonderful differences and similarities. And if you love this one, there’s also a Christmas edition, Walk This World at Christmastime, exploring how cultures around the world celebrate Christmas!
Lots is an enchanting book that focuses on the vastness of the world around us. “There is so much to discover – lots of people, lots of places, lots of different landscapes and cultures.” What I may love the most about this book is that it explores different things than most travel-themed books: favelas in Brazil, Antarctica, Mongolia. The illustrations are beautifully done and loaded with detail that will make you want to study them for hours.
A beautiful, touching story of celebrating each person regardless of origin. The refrain is simple but powerful, full of empathy and compassion, and compels the reader to celebrate both our similarities and differences because inside, we are all alike.
As the title of this book suggests, it is a moment of focus on different homes around the world. Home also encourages broader thought on the concept of a home and what that means to different people. The illustrations are beautiful and allow young children to think of others around the globe.
This book has such a wonderful message and is basically what I’ve been trying to say all along!! This is a wonderful way to introduce global living and globalization to young children, encouraging them to experience cultures, celebrate diversity, and simply respect other people. It’s a great start to helping kids become citizens of the world.
And Here are a Few For the Tiny Bambino…
Hello, World! is a cute introduction to different cultures from the makers of Disney’s It’s a Small World. This book takes Baby on a world tour by teaching how to say “Hello” in 10 languages. This is a simple board book, perhaps with a few cultural stereotypes here and there. I wouldn’t expect any grand story or insight, but it’s a cute, colorful way to introduce young children new languages.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes is a sweet adoration of babies everywhere. It’s lyrical rhyme and cute illustrations are great to read aloud to Tiny Bambino to not only learn about their own fingers and toes but babies all over the world too. So go ahead and kiss those little hands and feet… this book makes me want to go snuggle my own babies right meow.
Global Babies is a sweet look at babies from cultures all over the world. With a sweet message of love, young bambinos will love looking at the bright pictures. It’s a fairly simple board book, but a very cute introduction to babies around the globe.
What else would you add?? Tell me in a comment below!
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